[BEST FIX] ‘Uh-Oh! I Can’t Send the Command to the Program’

[BEST FIX] ‘Uh-Oh! I Can’t Send the Command to the Program’

Ever encountered that pesky message saying, ‘Uh-Oh! I can’t send the command to the program’? It’s a real nuisance, especially when you’re using Excel or Word. Essentially, this error crops up when something is hindering the opening or closing of a document. And, true to Microsoft form, the error message itself provides zero helpful information. Talk about frustrating!

Thankfully, there are a couple of common culprits that we can investigate to figure out what the problem is.

According to the big shots at Microsoft, the ‘Uh-Oh! I can’t send the command to the program’ error isn’t just limited to opening or closing a document. It can also pop up when you try to access an embedded object, launch another application from within an Excel or Word file, save a file, or use the ‘Send as’ feature.

Luckily, Microsoft has an official workaround for this error. Nonetheless, I’ve stumbled upon another solution that actually works!


How to Resolve ‘There was a problem sending the command to the program’ Errors

Let’s start with the official solution first, because it has been effective for some users.

  1. First, open Excel and go to File, then Options.
  2. Next, click on the Advanced tab and look for ‘Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)’.
  3. Remove the checkmark from the box and hit OK.

This should stop the error from occurring, but it may lead to some side effects when working with multiple Excel workbooks simultaneously. I recommend giving this solution a try and testing it out for yourself. Personally, I have disabled DDE and encountered no problems so far, even with multiple workbooks and embedded objects.

Microsoft also suggests using Office Repair if you’re experiencing any issues with Word or Excel. While it is a useful tool, its success in resolving this particular error has been hit or miss.

  1. To access Office Repair, open the Control Panel and select Uninstall Programs under Programs.
  2. Navigate to Microsoft Office and choose Change.
  3. Opt for Online Repair, as it provides the most comprehensive fix options.
  4. Select Repair and follow the instructions provided by the wizard.


Here’s a neat little trick that might help if you’re having trouble with those pesky “There was a problem sending the command to the program” errors. It’s not an official fix, but it seems to work better than the others, especially if you use Cortana.

  1. First, click on the Start Button and select Cortana.
  2. Next, go to Cortana’s settings and turn off the Hey Cortana feature.
  3. Finally, restart your device.

I don’t know why Cortana messes with Office, but it definitely seems to cause issues. A friend of mine who had trouble opening .xlsx files tried this method and promised me it worked like a charm. The only downside is that you won’t be able to use Cortana anymore.

So those are the three methods I know of for fixing “There was a problem sending the command to the program” errors. If you have any other tricks that work, feel free to share them with us.

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